Reporting Shannon Hori
LAKE BUENA VISTA (CBSMiami) – For more than a decade, Disney visitors have been able to skip long lines at popular attractions by getting a FastPass, a paper ticket printed with a time the guests can return and ride with minimal wait. But all that is about to change.
FastPass tickets are about to be replaced with an electronic bracelet called the MagicBand and it is the key to unlocking the magic at Disney Parks in the future.
With one touch of their MagicBand, guests can enter the parks and their resort room, access their Disney FastPass+ selections and PhotoPass and pay for merchandise and dining. The band keeps credit card information using NextGen technology.
Guests will also be able to secure a place to view parades, fireworks and character meetings.
Nick Frankin, an Executive Vice President overseeing Disney’s new technology upgrades insisted that guests who stay at Disney’s higher end hotels will not be given priority or additional FastPasses.
“We have a really strong belief this should be better for everyone. So everyone is going to have the same access as they do today to the FastPass system,” explained Frankin.
“MagicBands” are part of an initiative it’s calling MyMagic+.
The new My Disney Experience has not yet been rolled out for all park-goers. Disney leaders say they need to refine it before its debut but the bands are being testing on a very limited basis at Walt Disney World. As for concerns the new system is a little too “big brother” Disney said the wristbands will track guests’ preferences and purchases, giving the theme park company a better idea of what resonates well with parkgoers, but they said the focus is on improving the guest experience and all of the data is secured.
There’s also a new app, dubbed “My Disney Experience,” which allows guests to plan and keep track of their entire stay at the parks.
The wristbands and the My Disney Experience website and app will all be available to guests for no extra fee.